The latest edition of MMQB is out, and with the first teams reporting to training camp today, Peter King broke down the top issue for each team. King ranked them as well, and has the San Francisco 49ers at No. 3 behind the Denver Broncos (can they win with Mark Sanchez) and Indianapolis Colts (who is the real Andrew Luck). For the 49ers, King asked, “Will Chip find redemption—and a quarterback—in his second chance?”
Here’s what King had to say about the 49ers question:
Heard frequently in the spring that Kelly likes Blaine Gabbert a lot, so it won’t be surprising to see Gabbert win the job. Kelly’s a smart guy. He’ll take what he learned in Philadelphia (and though he’s not likely to admit it publicly, he’ll probably be more collaborative after his Philly nightmare) and be a better coach with the Niners. But in a very tough division, that may not show up for a couple years, until he can get good play out of the quarterback position and be competitive on defense in a very good defensive division.
National discussion has focused on the significant questions up and down the 49ers roster. They need a lot of things to come together to put together a decent season, which means we might be looking at a season with only limited successes. The NFL has surprises every year, so I am not writing off the year entirely. However, Trent Baalke has acknowledged the team is rebuilding. There is some intriguing talent that could step up this year, but with all the questions, it’s hard to see a huge step forward this season.
All that being said, I’m still looking forward to this season. Not just because it’s another season of 49ers football. Rather, after last season, it seems hard to expect a season as truly mind numbingly boring as last year. The team fell apart, and most of the games were just excruciatingly boring. I want a Super Bowl contender, but if I’m not going to get that, I at least want some interesting football.
There has been a lot of talk about this being a bad season, and expectations being incredibly low. I agree that expectations should be low in terms of win total, but I have high expectations for interesting football. The bar is low after a year of Tomsula ball, but I think we at least get a team that is more fun.